By Richelle E. Goodrich
I looked out the window on an early-morning bus, noting how low the gray cloud-cover hung. The dark and heavy sky was threatening rain. I watched a tall line of trees that bordered acres of hay field, the wind flailing branches like they were bits of straw.
“What a miserable day,” I sighed.
Surprisingly, someone responded to my bleak announcement—a man one seat back. “You just need new glasses,” he said.
His hand reached over my shoulder, a finger and thumb pinched as if holding the thin arm of actual frames, only there was nothing in his fingers.
I glanced backwards, my expression questioning his comment as well as his sanity.
“Go on,” he urged, holding up his gift of nothingness. My eyebrows slanted, appraising him.
“There’s nothing there,” I finally pointed out.
“Sure there is,” he insisted. “These are special eyeglasses. Go on, put them on.”
I played along, partly to be kind and partly to avoid a public scene with a madman. In a careful gesture, I took the invisible spectacles and pretended to slip them over my nose. Another rearward glance found the man smiling. He pointed at the window.
“Now look again.”
My head turned the other way to take a second glimpse at the gray sky. There were raindrops clinging to the window now, tracing a slow, horizontal line across the glass. Before I could say anything, the man made a soft but excited observation in my ear.
“See that beam of sunlight streaming through the break in the clouds?”
It was beautiful, like a spotlight glimmering on a distant rooftop.
“And look there,” he said, gesturing again at the sky. “See that rainbow? Or half of it, anyway.”
My eyes followed a translucent smear of colors to somewhere behind a neighborhood of houses. I hadn’t noticed it earlier.
“See those pink blossoms on that little tree?”
I nodded as we past it by. “Pretty.”
“See the hawk circling right above it?”
“I think that’s a blackbird,” I said. It appeared charcoal from beak to tail.
“Huh…” He laughed for half a second. “That’s one big blackbird!”
He gestured to an upcoming cluster of young evergreens growing tightly together on someone’s property. “See the naked Christmas trees?”
Funny. It made me smile.
“Oh look!” I exclaimed, startled by my own unexpected exuberance. “Puppies!” I pointed at two young golden labs on leashes. They seemed more interested in wrestling one another than being walked.
“I see, I see,” the man grinned.
He continued on, pointing out things beyond our window that were exactly opposite of the gloomy and miserable picture I’d beheld earlier. It amazed me the number of wonderful things he managed to find. Before long, I was noticing pleasantries he missed as we drove along.
Realizing the gift he’d given me, I thanked him. “I guess it’s not such a miserable day after all."
He pretended to take back his lenses and smiled wide. “It’s all in the glasses.”
Copyright 2015 Richelle E. Goodrich